Entries from August 2005 ↓

SCO of the literary world?

SCO of the literary world?

I quite some time ago blogged about my impression of the DaVinci code (and my general lack of being impressed by it).
Anyway there was/is a copyright case filed against Dan Brown from a disgruntled author who felt Dan Brown had taken many plot ideas from him and used them in the DaVinci code.
This author even have a blog set up to cover the case. The judge recently came out with a clear non-infringement verdict in the case and it is an interesting read for those of us following the SCO case as it gives one example on how todays judges view copyright (and sorry SCO, general ideas are still not copyrightable).

Even though most book authors seems to think of themselves as the embodiment of creativity and new ideas, the reality is that everything they do someone else have written before them. Sucessful writing is not really about unique plot elements, its about craftmanship, the skill of enganging the reader in whatever story you are telling. A great and relativly fresh plot can not cover over bad writing, but good writing have a good chance of covering over a weak plot. (Although some unappy readers like myself, with the DaVinci code, feel a bit cheated when we get treated to a weak and illogical plot).

I guess next on Perdue’s lawsuit list would be Jacqueline Carey as her Kushiel triology also touch the topic of a feminine divinity and is loosely based on religious history with some added spice.

SMIL the next chapter

So after a lot of work Ambulant
worked on my machine. Sent Jack and co. my configure and Makefile fixes so hopefully they will merge them.

Next step is to have Tim investigate utilizing libambulant in GStreamer/Totem. Luckily Jack from the Ambulant team seems very interested in this too, so hopefully by working together we will be able to get somewhere.

As Dom mentioned in his blog, Cairo support in librsvg is starting to take shape now with Carl Worth hacking on it like crazy. Will also see if I can get the Ambulant guys interested in using librsvg to try get SVG support into Ambulant. Dom fears I will create a lot of work for him and Caled doing that, while I always say that there is nothing to fear except fear itself.

Food on sticks

So with Tim and Ronald here we went out to eat at a Basque tapas place last night. They have a fun setup where you go around taking and eating the tapas you want. In each tapas there is a toothpick and in the end you pay based on how many toothpicks you have collected. A highly trust based
concept, but it seems to work.

SMIL to the world and the world SMIL’s to you

We have been looking to add SMIL support for GStreamer and GNOME for a while now. Problem have been that there hasn’t really been and complete usable implementation yet under an acceptable license. Well I discovered Ambulant
recently. Currently its under a GPL+exception license, but they seemed open to dual license it under the LGPL which would make things easier to relate to in a GStreamer and GNOME context.

Ambulant is a C++ based library which includes player(s) for a lot of platforms, including a simple Qt player for Linux. It currently use ffmpeg for network and format support and expat as its XML library. We would want to replace ffmpeg with GStreamer, expat with libxml and hook up Totem as the GUI. Currently fighting with its build system and some GCC4 issues, but hopefully I get it running to test it soon and then later on I hope someone who actually can hack is willing to help out to intergrate it with our stack.